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Kinship Care and Lies

July 6, 2012 in Child Protective Services, corruption, grandparents rights, West Virginia

I have 4 grandchildren that were placed in my home 4/26/2012, by Harrison County, WV CPS.

When my daughter in law had the baby last August she let the doctor know that she had been taking Subutex. She had previously had a problem with narcotic pain killers and had gone to the local clinic for help. They put her on Suboxone and when she got pregnant she had to switch to Subutex. But we could no longer afford for her to go to the clinic.

English: Suboxone tablet - both sides.

Suboxone tablet

She asked her OB about a regular prescription but he said he was not allowed to do that. So a friend was getting it for her.  Also, to make things worse she got my son also addicted to it.So, when she had the baby CPS was called, even though the baby’s system was drug free. They opened a case in February, 2012. Both parents were taking a minimum dose of Suboxone once every day. No one even had any idea that they were taking anything.

The children were always well taken care of, home was spotless, good meals always served, and they were very involved in the kids activities. But because of the addiction, the kids were removed 2 months after the case opened. This has gone from bad to worse.

The case worker told me that I was to keep the kids in their “normal” routine. I told her that the older ones always spent part of the summer in Ohio with their cousins and she said that was fine. So today she calls to tell me I had to get my granddaughter home today, they are not allowed to go out of state except for maybe a weekend and with me.

Also, she had asked me if I WANTED to certify as a foster home and I said I didn’t know, and she said well I will contact a home study and you can look over the paperwork. I did that and because I decided that some of the information they wanted was absolutely my own personal, private business (how much life insurance do I have. who is it with, etc) I decided I did not want to do that.

Then she said I could not keep the kids if I didn’t. And she also said that “WHEN” parental rights were terminated and the kids put up for adoption I would not be allowed to do that if I was not certified.

I want to know what I can do to fight this? Are my grandchildren going to have a lifetime of punishment by this woman? Why are they being punished?

 

S.H., West Virginia

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CPS Worker Brings Lawsuit

May 9, 2008 in CPS, due process, foster care, West Virginia

Ex West Virginia caseworker calls for system reform.

Hello, My name is Elise Stewart I use to be a CPS worker and then Supervisor in West Virginia. Since leaving the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources (WVDHHR) several years ago, I have had a couple experiences with them that I am currently suing them over.

My point of this e-mail concerns the circumstances concerning my adult son and his on again, off again, girlfriend and their child who will soon be one-year-old. The baby was born with drugs in her system. The mom and maternal grandmother hid this information from my son. During the initial investigation by CPS, they failed to contact my son even though they knew who he was. The mom continued to do drugs while living with her mother (an active alcoholic) and this was the reason for the unstable relationship with my son, as he does not use drugs nor did he condone her use of drugs.

WV CPS Worker Brings Lawsuit

In November, after the girlfriend was admitted to the hospital for her drug use, her mother involved CPS. When the girlfriend was released from the hospital, her mother would not let her back into the house or near the baby. Against my better judgment and without knowing all the details, I let her and my son stay here.

Over the next two-weeks I babysat the baby while the girlfriend and her sister (also a heroin addict) attended NA/AA meetings. On the weekend in question, I was informed that the maternal grandmother had left town and left the baby with the heroin addict sister and her boyfriend who she met in rehab.

Seeking Temporary Custody

After lengthy discussion, my son and his girlfriend signed a paper granting me temporary custody of the baby. We went to the house to get the baby. The police were called, who in turn called the prosecuting attorney. I spoke on the phone to the prosecutor whom I had worked with for years. He said that I could take the baby.

CPS workers freaked out and told the police they had filed a petition on the Friday, it was awaiting the signature of a judge. They stated that I could not be near the baby as they had at one time opened a case against me. We were ordered to take the baby to the sheriff’s office and wait for the maternal grandmother who was on her way home.

Note on previous case: (The case they referred to took place when I was in England and they opened the case without my knowledge. The person my almost 18-year-old son was living with, kicked him out. Instead of then going to the place I setup for him, he went to stay with his older brother which CPS didn’t like…another issue altogether. Although I might add here that the person who kicked him out on the street was my best friend and the director of our local CASA)

We waited hours for the maternal grandmother to come staggering in completely intoxicated. She was given a breathalyzer and told she could not take the child due to her being drunk. She then became belligerent to the officers and left.

The girlfriend was told she could take the baby to her great grandmother’s house but due to the age of her great grandmother, the girlfriend had to stay with her.

Foster Care Placement

The next evening, CPS appeared with a custody order and took the baby in to custody, placing her with a foster family. My son was not considered for placement because they said there was no proof he was the father. None of us were allowed to see the baby until after the initial hearing — more than two weeks later.

Since that hearing, they first gave physical custody to the maternal, drunken grandmother while the state kept legal custody. The girlfriend was not allowed to be alone with the baby. My son was permitted one-hour of supervised visitation at the local DHHR each week, and I was told I would have to petition for grandparents rights.

Inadequate Representation

Subsequent hearings led to my son becoming very frustrated with his public defender who would not return his calls and thought proper council was seeing him for five minutes prior to the hearing. The DHHR wanted my son to have a DNA test and would not accept a paternity affidavit from him. They also wanted him to submit to drug testing and other such strictures, normally placed on parents alleged of abuse in these situations.

They alleged he “knowingly allowed” the baby to be abused by not stopping the mother’s drug use. The age old catch all CPS likes to use when they have nothing else to charge the absent father with.

My son had to reschedule the first DNA test. He went to the second one which proved him to be the father. He missed a court hearing due to his ride canceling at the last minute. He left voice mails for both his attorney and the social worker. Then he missed the next hearing as he received no notice from the court or his attorney. He has continued to see the baby at the girlfriend’s house rather than at the DHHR (against my advice).

After finally tracking down his lawyer last week, he received in today’s mail a proposed court order from the prosecutor charging him with abandonment. The hearing is scheduled for June.

Would you consider this ‘good practice’?

  • Not conducting a thorough investigation with collateral contacts (ie father);
  • Removing a child for ‘imminent danger’ that did not exist;
  • Being permitted to place a child in foster care when relative placement is available and more than adequate given kinship placement guidelines;
  • Being granted continued custody in foster care without testimony or an evidentiary hearing in court.

The court process is not due process. The guidelines and rules of procedure are not followed. CPS policy is not followed. My son has yet to receive notice of any MDT meetings or the reports that those meetings are meant to generate.

After years working inside this system I would highly recommend never speaking to a CPS worker without an attorney present and a tape recorder running. I have worked with the do gooders who see a cute little baby that deserves a ‘nice’ family, and the power trippers who take custody for their own warped sense of ego feeding….the list goes on.

Someone needs to revamp this system. The damage done to the family is not reversible and even the youngest of children experiencing the foster care system can act out on this ‘memory’ in years to come.

I realize this is a rather lengthy and tangential ramble. My apologies. It just send my mind racing with outrage at a system that is supposed to keep children safe and consider the well being of the child first and foremost.

~Suzie
West Virginia

Wake Up America!

January 26, 2008 in bipolar, CPS, West Virginia

You people haven’t heard anything yet! Here in Mingo County, West Virginia, the tail end of everything, my child was removed from our home Wednesday evening just because the CPS worker – get this now – “heard” from somebody that my wife is bi-polar.

My wife has never been diagnosed as bi-polar but the stupid system will not even listen to her. They tell me that I can see her (my daughter) all I want and go anywhere I want with her – but I must keep her from my wife.

What kind of system is this? Neither my wife nor I have ever spanked our child (she is a female age 10). We punish her by grounding — it’s effective with our child. There is no chance of any violence in our home.

I was a cop for years in the past but am currently performing a different job by choice. I know there must be something we can do. We have an attorney working the case but this is something that should have never happened. I ask you people to stand up for our rights.

I’m starting to think we live in a country that doesn’t abide by the Declaration of Independence but simply hides behind it. Good luck to anybody who has to deal with these jerks. I will fight these idiots tooth and nail and bring my daughter back home to our family. This has caused my wife and I to come close to having a nervous breakdown. Just because of an assumption, these people jumped to conclusions and took our daughter. Wake up America — before it’s to late! The next thing before you know it they will be trying to tell us when we can use the bathroom!

Dirty Sock Charges

April 21, 2007 in CPS, false accusation, West Virginia

More CPS reports originate at School, than any other place.

More CPS reports originate with schools, than any from other place.

Hi my name is Rose, I’m a single mother of 4 boys. Just this past Monday I got a phone call. I found out that we are under investigation by CPS.

The investigator informed me that he had already talked to my child at his school. He was very nosy ask me a couple questions like what are you doing now and things.

I told him that I had to go pick up my son. He said, “Oh, Joseph.”

I said, “No, My oldest.”

He never even knew I had more children. He started asking more questions when I stopped him and ask him what this was about. He never came out and told me, matter of fact, beat around the bush about it, then told me just a little. He said he needed to come out.

I told him my schedule. I work and this week had several appointments, anyway, he came out yesterday. I answered questions and he talked to most of my kids.

He said the allegations were that my son went to school one day with no socks, one day with dirty socks and that he wore the same outfit to school for 4 days straight. This is nuts! I have a 15-, 13-, 7-, and 5- year-old.

I’m not perfect and neither is my family but this is a crock someone at this school Joseph has only attended for 4-months now, is trying to cause my family harm. We haven’t lived in this area of town very long but I have learned that it’s not a very nice one.

I need to know what to do, how do I protect my family? What are my rights? I need some support. Can you give me some kind of direction, something please?

Thank you so much,
Rose,
Huntington, West Virginia

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